Following Saturday’s scrimmage and evaluating Mark Dantonio was happy on several fronts about his football team. However, that does not mean the Spartans head coach was happy with everything.
"I think our guys continue to be motivated, obviously there are things that we need to continue to improve on...because you want to see consistency in every respect, not just in terms of what we are doing, but in effort, and I think in the first scrimmage you see some guys that ran out of gas a little bit. But we can get that fixed, we have good depth and we can handle that."
As expected the Spartans had their ups and downs Saturday as the defense started out strong only to see the offense to turn things around at the end.
"Well I think in the scrimmage, the defense started very fast, played very well early in the scrimmage, and (then) they tapered off. I thought the offense maybe got handled a little bit early in the scrimmage, but as the scrimmage went on, they got stronger. So when you are sitting in this position, sometimes you sort of come out of it feeling `Well we have to do better at this, we need to do better at that.' But after watching the film what you see is guys getting a little bit tired. We haven't put them in a situation where they have had to play 12 straight plays and those types of things. That is to come this week, where they have to maintain what they do over a course of a series."
When asked about the play of a few of the Spartans, Dantonio praised some while also pointing out areas needing work by other. One who Dantonio expected more out of was William Gholston.
"William is one of the guys I thought played very well and then sort of faded a little bit to be honest with you. And he needs to be able to play at a more consistent level throughout the scrimmage. But that's normal when you have a long scrimmage, and as the scrimmage goes on, I think you have to condition yourself. It's one thing to run 17 intervals, which we did the other day. It's another thing to come back and play 12, 15 straight plays. It's completely different conditioning."
Redshirt freshman Nick Hill was one who got praise for his performance on Saturday.
"Is he the fourth, is he the third, is he the second? He's a good football player, and he makes plays. He's an electrifying runner. He's just in a position where there's some depth there right now, but he can make plays.
One question members of the media had was the recent comments of former Spartans quarterback Tony Banks about the toughness of quarterback Kirk Cousins.
"Well, you know, I like Tony. I thought he was a great player here; I really like him as a person. But when you look at Kirk Cousins- first of all I think his (Banks') statement has maybe been taken out of context a little bit. I think he (Banks) was trying to probably, just like everybody, give an adjective to describe something he wants to talk about, where (Cousins) can get better. And so maybe it comes off in a negative respect. But Kirk Cousins has always been very courageous here, and he's a leader on this football team and he does an outstanding job. So it's no big deal."